Rhonda Scharf is a prominent business consultant, professional speaker, and trainer whose work over almost three decades has cemented her position among the foremost in those respective areas. She is a respected author as well with numerous titles to her credit and the latest addition to her bibliography Alexa is Stealing Your Job: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Your Future examines AI’s transformative impact on the business world and human lives. The book, in some ways, recalls her professional speaking flavor; it is, in turns, personal and professional, always polished and speaking to readers’ concern in a direct and comprehensible way, and its concise length will never be confused for a doorstop or waste readers’ time. She marshals her considerable experience and personal reflections in a productive way and adopts welcome attitudes about the subject that are refreshing and challenge preconceived notions.
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Chief among those preconceived notions is the fear or idea that AI becoming more dominant in society is an unreservedly bad thing for humanity. Scharf isn’t one of those naysayers who sees the end of the species lurking around every corner of technological advancement and wisely recalls how we greeted a host of earlier transformations in our history with the same alarmist tendencies. She makes it a point to stress such responses are often natural; human beings are creatures of habit and if we have spent decades cultivating a specific skill set to ensure we make a living, it isn’t surprising that we are intimidated when progress, for good or ill, upends that life model.
She goes to great pains, however, to direct our attention to the opportunities this provides us. The enterprising and adaptable among us will “ride the tiger”, as they say, and learn how to navigate our way through this strange new land. She relates how the introduction of computers into the work place en masse as a young woman challenged her to acquire new skills and she soon learned she had a natural affinity for the machines that served her well going forward. Many will be left behind by the coming changes; many, however, will not.
Alexa is Stealing Your Job takes a look, in its second half, at a handful of areas likely to experience the greatest change in a world dominated by AI. Customer service, marketing, advertising, and even human resource departments will experience tremendous upheaval leading to the very nature of their day-to-day activities being redefined, but there are promising opportunities in this reorientation for businesses to better serve their customer base and employees to further realize their career ambitions.
The research Scharf has layered throughout this work is well served by her clear and unostentatious prose style; despite a wealth of technical terms in the text, any modern reader should be able to navigate through these pages and glean a great deal from its observations. Alexa is Stealing Your Job: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Your Future is the latest book from Rhonda Scharf and reflects her passion for the here and now rather than affecting any sentimental attachment to the past. Such a point of view is essential for all of us moving forward.